With season 3 of CW’s Arrow only a few weeks away, many are wondering what direction Oliver Queen will take this time around. Season One introduced him as an extreme Robin Hood-esque vigilante who killed corrupt rich people as a chance of redemption for his late father’s sins. The second season introduced viewers to other characters from the DC Universe while pointing Oliver toward a more heroic portrayal. Now being called ‘The Arrow’, the emerald archer made a great effort not to kill the bad guys but did slip up a few times (bad news for Count Vertigo). In the end, he chose to spare the life of Deathstroke, probably the most dangerous man he’d ever known, and saved his city from both an army of enhanced killers and a government drone strike.
So…what happens now? Arrow Executive Producer Marc Guggenheim spoke with a handful of reporters during Comic Con International to talk about how Season Three would be different from what we’ve already seen these past two years:
“The best way to put it is, we’re trying to take some of the lessons we learned from Season Two and trying to apply it to some of the cooler aspects of Season One. We felt like Season Two was very successful. We do feel like it was an improvement over Season One and I think a lot of fans and a lot of critics felt the same way but there were elements of Season One that just because of the nature of the story we were telling in Season Two, we were lacking. Season One had a really cool, over-arching mystery. You had the glyph, you had The Undertaking, you were kind of wondering what was going on. There was what we called in the scripts the Well-Dressed Man, who turned out to be Malcolm Merlyn. And we wanted to basically take the epic quality of Season Two and fuse it with the mystery of Season One. Hopefully, we’ve accomplished that and it will be all the stuff you loved from Season One combined with all the stuff you loved from Season Two. That’s the over-arching approach. You guys will have to tell us if we’re successful.”
I have no doubt that fans will make their opinions known, already praising the show for its unique portrayals of Deathstroke and Black Canary, two well-known characters in DC Comics who Guggenheim promises will be around for the third season. Fans also enjoy the show’s large ensemble of strong female characters. Guggenheim stated:
“One thing that we’ve really strived for in the show is diversity of all forms. We’re very proud of our racial diversity on the show, we’re very proud of our gender diversity and having female characters who aren’t just sex objects, who have agency, who are tough. I mean, Felicity Smoak is by no means an ass-kicker, but she’s very tough and she has an inner steel to her. Same thing with Thea [Queen]. Thea’s going to be going through some changes because of her association with Malcolm Merlyn and that I think will bring her into more of the ass-kicking side of the spectrum, but as Malcolm said to her in Episode 23 [of Season Two], she has real iron in her. We try with all the female characters to give them a strength but not make that strength limited to kicking ass, though we have plenty of that, obviously. I think people will be very happy with Laurel’s trajectory specifically this year in that regard. She’s going to start trying to walk the path that her sister walked, which is something we set up in the season finale and I think people are going to be really excited to see where that goes.”
That’s not the only thing people have to be excited about. During the second season, a special two part episode was shown to introduce viewers to Barry Allen, aka The Flash. By the end of that episode, Allen’s fateful encounter with a lightning bolt was shown, setting up a spin-off series that will debut alongside Arrow this fall. Another of DC Comics’ heroes will make their television debut this fall: Ray Palmer, aka The Atom. Guggenheim had this to say about his inclusion into the show and the actor portraying him, Brandon Routh:
“The idea of a new character coming in and being a change agent for a set ensemble was very appealing to us. That was one parameter. Another parameter was that we had Felicity and she sort of, from a dialogue perspective, lives in a different world than everybody else. We’ve been saying that Emily [Rickards] from a witty banter perspective has been playing tennis against the wall and we wanted to give her a tennis partner. His scenes with Emily are just so much fun — they’re everything I could have hoped for. We’re trying to write a little bit of a Spencer Tracy/Katharine Hepburn kind of relationship and that’s something that’s very much in our wheelhouse and it’s just fun to see it come to life with Emily and Brandon. I think one of the things that’s fun about Brandon’s character is that so many of our characters come in as proto-, “Here’s Ray Palmer, here’s Slade Wilson, when are they going to finish that evolution to their comic book destinies?” That’s a big part of the show and the fun of the show, is when is that going to happen and how is that going to happen, and are we going to surprise you? We have a really cool plan in mind for Brandon and he’s game. We told him the very first day where we were headed with him and he’s excited and we’re excited, too.”
Be sure to catch the season premiere of CW’s Arrow on October 8th .